Posts Tagged With: Pizza

Gotta Get These Wheels Moving

Working out has kind of taken the back burner so Sarah and I decided that since we expect to be in bikinis all weekend it might be a good idea to work out all this week. We started a new regiment where we run on the treadmills for a pre-determined amount of time and then do workouts that she had gotten from her ultimate Frisbee team. My legs and arms are already killing me, but it’s worth it to tone up for this weekend! Afterwards, we decided to work on our reports that are due not too long after we get back. It was really hard to stay focused but it was easier to finish since we had our leftover cookies and sweet buns! I can’t wait to have all of these reports finalized and handed in.

In the afternoon we decided to get the material that we bought for scarves hemmed so that they won’t fray any more than they already have, it costs a whopping 2,000 SCH to get a meter of material in total hemmed (about .75 cents). While she was doing that for us we took some time to just walk around one of the markets. After checking in with the seamstress and realizing that she was still going to be a while we decided to go to lunch at the free point restaurant. We ended up getting a large vegetarian pizza which includes pineapple slices and some mishkaki to share. It was such a great lunch because for the first time in weeks I didn’t have a lunch that included chips! We all felt really good for finally having more of a light lunch instead of a big heavy meal.

We picked up our finished scarves after lunch and then headed back to the hotel. It isn’t uncommon for strangers to randomly come up to us asking for anything from our personal information to our life stories. We tend to keep these encounters casual without giving away any real information; it gets a bit annoying since for me culturally I find it odd, but most of them actually just want to chat and be friends. Sarah encountered someone named Jackson outside of the hotel and talked to him for a bit. He ended up asking her if we all wanted to go to his uncle’s hotel called Desert Palm for food and drinks. She politely declined and came back to the hotel to tell us about her encounter. We just kind of laughed it off as another random encounter and left it at that.

It was a really hot and sunny day and we had the rest of the afternoon off, so we decided to go sun tanning. The pool is in a bit of an awkward part of the hotel because it faces all of the conference halls; we made sure nothing was going on, stripped down and lounged. About 5 minutes after getting comfortable about a hundred people came out of one of the halls and walked right by us. It was really uncomfortable since showing skin is pretty riské in general and people decided to take their tea time outside all around us. I think we all had a really big laughing fit and tried not to open our eyes; because every time we did there were people looking back.

It was nice to go in once the sun started to set, to get away from all the prying eyes. We took some time to get ready and headed down to the Chinese restaurant to eat. We were supposed to meet up with Lucas but he never showed and his phone was turned off. As soon as we sat down and ordered, we got a call from Lucas saying that he was at reception and ready to go; and he apologized for being over an hour late. We apologetically told him that we got hungry and had already ordered so we invited him to sit down with us; luckily he brought his friend with him who was offering us a place to host our fundraiser. We pitched our idea for the fundraiser and explained to him our intentions of raising money for a local orphanage. We convinced him that if he gave us the venue space for free that we would promote his hotel over the radio and acknowledge the hotel at the event for its support. He was very understanding and accepted our proposal with no opposition or hesitation. The hotel that he works for is called Desert Palm in Area D and Sarah and I both kind of stopped in our tracks. She asked him if he knew who Jackson was and it took him a minute but he told us that he was the owner’s nephew! Dodoma is definitely a small town!

After our lovely meal celebrating our success we started talking to a guy next to us who was from India. He told us that he is helping to produce and promote a new Tanzanian reality show called “Bongo Stars”. It’s supposed to be just like a regular musical competition show with auditions, rehearsals and shows. We really wanted to attend one of the auditions but they don’t start until the 14th of June. We let him know that we were traveling to Zanzibar at the end of our trip and he told us that there were riots the weekend before over the constitutional installment. I haven’t been keeping up with the news so I had no idea about them; but he did mention that they had calmed down so that by the time we go it should be fine. Fingers crossed!

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Starting to get the hang of this

This morning we were up and getting ready to help out the English department with an English program called CAN8 which lets you record yourself so that students can try to match your pitch and pronunciation. We got a text just before we were about to leave from Bertram stating that we had a surprise meeting with some local event managers in town who want to make sure they are on the right path in putting on a music festival in Dodoma. We met with them at the “Modern Hotel” just outside of the city centre and sat with them. Their intention is to provide awareness and to bring culture into the city by inviting local tribes in the area to perform at this music festival. Their issue, and I think this is the main issue for most managers trying to put on events, is to raise money through sponsors. The businesses and corporate branches are not necessarily following procedures and just don’t see the win/win situation that sponsorship provides. They are also largely neglecting to pass on sponsorship packages to their actual head offices where there would be more luck. We basically tried to give them a better game plan as to how to get their attention whether it’s by having a politician backing them (tourism & hospitality departments), celebrities, and budget breakdowns of the companies they are approaching and by creating a level of overall consistency.

We also tried to have them see the value in having a proper volunteer committee considering how big they want to make this event (5,000 people, no ticket sales). I think if they re-evaluate the grandiosity of this event, make it a bit smaller and maybe charge a couple thousand shillings per person it would be much more successful. One thing that I’ve noticed here when advising people of how to make revenue, they always have a reason as to why they shouldn’t charge an entry fee – in all honesty if someone has to pay a dollar or two to see a full day-10 hour concert, I’m pretty sure they’d fork it up. I’m not sure why there is a stigma on having people pay to have cheap or free food, drinks, free concerts and a place to hang out with their friends and family. Ticket sales are how you break even and pay for things like the venue, the bands, utilities, food and beverage, and anything else that might pop up. I think it’s kind of silly to rely on sponsors to pay for absolutely everything for an un-established and (so far) un-backed event; especially considering that it’s a risk for any company to sponsor a brand new and untested event.

The good thing about these two guys is that they took Sandy and Sylvia’s event management workshop in February and have a really good understanding of the basics and the main ideas. They just need more guidance and influence from the event world instead of following a system that leads nowhere but in circles. This music festival is also a great cause because it is partnered with the Dodoma Youth Centre so I really hope they can manage to put this event together. The Youth Centre is pushing health education and prevention which is such a great message for the youth of this city. I think that intertwining messages of healthy living and cultural promotion is something that is important for youths to experience and learn about no matter where they are in the world.

After this meeting, we went to the market to try and find some scarves. I have a huge obsession with scarves and I really wanted to pick a couple up here because of all the Indian influences. Anthone and Bertram took us out in town and we just took the walking road to find some stalls. I found a few really nice scarves; one is a teal blue pattern and the other is all black with an imprinted pattern. I also ended up having my first raw material experience where for 4,000 SCH I got a metre of material. Sarah and I ended up splitting two different types of materials to make scarves from. They’re fraying a lot so I think I’m going to have to burn the frayed edges to keep them from falling apart; but we’ll see. Afterwards we went to a souvenir shop where I got to buy a really nice carved wooden elephant. I loved shopping with the guys because since they’re locals the vendors don’t bother selling us the tourist prices; I saved a lot of money today! That being said, we’ve also figured out how to get the local prices for taxi’s – just have to either get a local get one for you or tell the taxi driver straight up that you know exactly how much a trip actually costs. We were spending 10,000 SCH to drive across the city when in reality the real price is 5,000 SCH; basically charging us double!

 We went to VETA to see if we could still do the CAN8 voice over stuff but the teacher who knows the program had already left. They asked us to come in tomorrow though so we’ll be able to actually do it then (hopefully there won’t be any more surprise meetings lol).

In the late afternoon we all took some time to ourselves to do what we wanted back at the hotel. I FINALLY caught up on all of my blog posts and watched the food channel for a while (not a good idea). I was sooo hungry by the time we decided to head out for dinner that I was basically running to the taxi. Watching diners, dives and drive ins and seeing Guy eating amazing food for an hour basically drove me crazy; but it was one of those things where I couldn’t look away, everything looked so incredibly delicious! We all went out to the Pizzaria again and I think we were all really hungry by then. We ordered some bruchetta to start off with and it was FANTASTIC! Some had olive creamed onto them and others just had a mountain of chopped tomatoes with some provolone. Afterwards I ended up ordering the 4 frommagio pizza which was a great choice!

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One Night in Italy

Today, the focus was on the presentation that we have to put on for Monday next week. I’m excited to put it on and educate the students on some important environmental ideas to keep in mind such as reducing pollution on land and in the air. I’m a bit nervous though because I’m not a teacher and I don’t know how well we will be understood since English isn’t well understood by the majority of students at VETA. We decided to implement as many videos as we can to try and get the students more interested in the material, and even if they can’t understand it at least there will be visuals for them to follow along with.

In the afternoon we got a text from Lucas inviting us to St. Gasper to take a swim in the new pool. Its been hot and it was such a nice change of pace so we jumped at the chance. The pool was a bit cool, but not as cold as I know my pool can get so I didn’t complain – just jumped in! When we were ready to leave we realized that we couldn’t because the president of Tanzania was just leaving and had closed down all the surrounding roads for safety precautions. We probably waited for a good half hour or so before the man at reception could confirm a taxi for us. We were so excited to get out of there though because we had excellent dinner plans for the night.

We headed to the most random restaurants that you could think of, considering that I’m in the middle of Tanzania – a Pizzaria! This “L’eone Africano” Pizzaria is owned by Italians who actually met each other here in Dodoma while doing some kind of religious work in the city. Leave it to Italians to create such a romantic story of how they met and how they started a life together right where they met. The food was spectacular! I had a vegetarian pizza, which just had sautéed vegetables on it; it was so good I ate the whole thing! The night was also eventful at the restaurant because of a factor that we had never really considered. The restaurant is just an open circular dome, which looks like a big traditional African hut, with no doors or windows. We saw the mosquitos and stray cats but it wasn’t until we all heard a big “THUD” on the table that we realized that there was also lizards!! It looks like the gecko was trying to get bugs that were attracted to the light on the ceiling and fell right onto our table. Luckily, he fell before we got our food, otherwise he would have landed in Rebecca’s spaghetti! I’ll definitely visit the Pizzaria again before I leave.

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